Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I missed you too.

Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures, by Bill Schutt. This author had an inadequate balance of layman vs. Ph. D. The bulk of the writing was too easy, too dumbed down, and obviously so, and then the author would throw in lots of big terms just to show he could, before going back to a super dumbed-down explanation. Who did he think his audience was going to be that this would be the best writing style? That said, there was a lot of good information, mostly on bats, but also a little bit on some other blood-feeders. I don't know what it is with me and strange medical nonfiction, but bring it on.

The Diagnosis, by Alan P. Lightman. This was shaping up to be strange, and despite the interesting medical condition the author set up, I just wasn't into the characters; I actively disliked all of them, and I think they are supposed to be likable, or at least empathize-able.

The Bad Beginning, by Lemony Snicket, read by Tim Curry. Woohoo! My first encounter with an audiobook is a success! I'm not a very good long-term listener, so I am still nervous to try a grown-up book, but this went pretty well. We did try listening to it in the car, and that didn't work, because there are several places where the dialogue is so quiet it's hard to hear, even just above my own typing in the library.  
Nation, by Terry Pratchett. I had unrealistic expectations about this book, simply because it's by Terry Pratchett. He's funny! He's impertinent! He mocks everything! That wasn't the case in this book. Once I could wrap my head around this new style, it's easy to see that it is, in its own way, a truly marvelous book. Pratchett keeps his base writing style (full, sometimes complex sentences; evocative descriptors) but this story is much more real than anything else he's written. There were some bits that really resonated with me. Especially considering how I felt about the last of his Discworld books, I'm very glad of this new book.

One for the Money, by Janet Evanovich. This series is still going strong among our public library patrons, so I thought I'd give it a go, even though I'm generally not a mystery fan. I didn't figure out the who-dun-it before it was revealed, but the answer didn't come out of left field. I dislike that, like every mystery writer I've ever read, Evanovich introduces characters with what they look like and what they are wearing. I found many of the to be too unrealistic and implausible, but all in all, not the suckiest book ever. I will give the second one a try, but then probably quit.

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